Vice President Mike Pence is expected to bring the parents of the murdered ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller to the Vice Presidential Debate – on the same day, two of their alleged torturers were charged in the US and questions raised as to whether the indictment was timed to the Vice President to help.
Axios first reported that Carl and Marsha Mueller would be Pence's guests as he debated Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris Wednesday night from Salt Lake City.
The report came out shortly after halfway through the so-called ISIS fighters of the Beatles – Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh – who were charged with numerous crimes related to the deaths of Kayla Mueller and journalist James Foley.
Pence spokespersons and the Trump campaign failed to respond to DailyMail.com's request for comment whether the vice president was aware of the impending charges when the Mullers were invited.
Harris plans to host two aspiring Utah Democratic politicians.
The debate starts on Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. EST after Tuesday was consumed by the debate over whether plexiglass would separate the candidates.
The move was a direct response to President Donald Trump contracting the coronavirus and the wider White House outbreak.
With the Müllers by his side, Pence Harris can beat Joe Biden over Democratic candidate's term in office – for accusing him and President Barack Obama of failing to save Kayla Mueller's life.
But the plexiglass will serve as a constant reminder of the coronavirus pandemic that Democrats Trump and Pence pounded on.
Vice President Mike Pence (left) will bring the parents of Kayla Mueller, an American woman murdered by ISIS, to the Vice Presidential Debate Wednesday night, while Demcoratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris will bring two aspiring Democrats from Utah
THE STAGE IS SET: A back and forth over plexiglass barriers took place all day on Tuesday
Carl (left) and Marsha Mueller (right) will be the guests of Vice President Mike Pence for the Vice President Debate. Here they hold up a photo of their murdered daughter, Kayla Mueller, as they speak at the Republican National Convention in August
The report that the Mullers Pences would be guests followed ISIS fighters Alexanda Amon Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh (right), who flew to the US for crimes related to the deaths of Mayla Mueller and journalist James Foley were indicted
On Wednesday morning, the Democrats played the game of anticipation in case Harris stumbled upon the debate, as 2016 vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine did four years ago.
“Tonight we expect Mike Pence to have a good debate. He has a long history of being a successful debater, ”said Symone Sanders of the Biden campaign when he called reporters. & # 39; He was a talk show host. Look, we won't underestimate him. & # 39;
Sen. Cory Booker – a Senate colleague of Harris and a former 2020 competitor – also hinted that the Salt Lake City debate could be a tie.
"We know Vice President Mike Pence is a great debater, and we know tonight is a challenge for those who love and know Kamala," said Booker.
The New Jersey Democrat also pointed out the historical nature of the event, with Harris being the first black woman to appear on a major party's presidential ticket.
"Celebrating your ancestors," he said when he called Sanders. "There are many children because I sent her pictures from friends of mine who sent me pictures of black and Indian girls who are delighted with television and see Kamala."
Initially, Pence's team rejected Harris' request for plexiglass barriers, arguing that it was medically unnecessary. But the Presidential Debate Commission had already approved the obstacles, and Pence staff said their presence would not prevent him from attending the event
A member of the production team cleans glass on stage, which will serve as a barrier to protect the spread of COVID-19, as preparations for the Vice Presidential Debate at the University of Utah take place on Tuesday
Pence and Harris will stand on stage exactly 12.25 feet apart, separated by the plexiglass barriers (pictured Tuesday)
The White House released two health updates on Pence Tuesday, one from his doctor and one from CDC Director Robert Redfield, stating that none of the people the vice president interacted with were "close contacts", despite being on Sept. 26 was in the rose garden
Pence also sat in the front row at a Gold Star family event on Sunday September 27 that saw at least one person test positive for COVID-19. However, the vice president wasn't sitting close enough to the person to fall under the CDC's quarantine guidelines
Sen. Cory Booker, a 2020 colleague and former rival of Kamala Harris, spoke about the historical nature of the debate Wednesday night as Harris becomes the first woman of color to appear on a major party's presidential ticket
"I think she'll do fine," Democratic nominee Joe Biden told reporters as he stepped into Wilmington's Queen Theater on Wednesday before his runner-up, Senator Kamala Harris, entered the debate stage
"This will be one of those nights that will reverberate in many ways," he added.
Across the aisle, the Trump Pence campaign deployed the same strategy, hinting at Harris' ability to debate.
"Kamala Harris was in the debate," said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh on Fox News Channel on Tuesday. She was in the US Senate. They argue there all the time. Remember, she was a prosecutor. & # 39;
Biden himself exclaimed, "I think she'll do fine" as he walked into Wilmington's Queen Theater on Wednesday to record digital content for the campaign.
With the Trump campaign on the water, it will be Pence's job on Wednesday night to keep things afloat.
Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah is adorned with banners ahead of the Vice Presidential Debate Wednesday evening, which will take place inside the building
Four years ago, the Trump campaign was in similar danger when Pence (right) debated Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine (left). It has been widely believed that Pence won this debate, at least stylistically
Pence has been here before, however.
When he debated Kaine four years ago, the BBC reported that Pence's "only job was to stop the bleeding and allow the campaign to regroup".
While the Veep debate took place three days before Access Hollywood was released, Trump's campaign was already hampering massive business losses caused by the current president's initial debating performance and a New York Times story that detailed him enabled income taxes to be written off for years.
Prior to the shock coronavirus diagnosis on Friday, ratings of Trump's debate on Tuesday night were "belligerent", "aggressive" and "violent". And then there was the New York Times story on Sept. 27, which revealed that he paid just $ 750 in federal income tax in his first year in office.
In the 2016 debate, held at Longwood University in Virginia on October 4, Kaine made the same mistake as Trump in this year's first debate – he came in too hot.
Kaine often interrupted Pence, who was taking a steady approach.
While Pence would make an argument – how to tie Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to President Barack Obama's foreign policy, which in turn failed the Middle East and encouraged Russia, Kaine would try to stab him in the eye.
"You love Russia," said Kaine, talking about pence. "You both said that Vladimir Putin is a better leader than the president," he attacked.
Pence replied coolly, "I must have hit a nerve here."
At another point Kaine said to Pence, "You are Donald Trump's apprentice."
Pence had just tried to come up with an argument that Clinton was corrupt, pointing out that she and former President Bill Clinton were using the Clinton Foundation in a pay-to-play system during her tenure as Secretary of State.
"There's a reason people are questioning Hillary Clinton's trustworthiness," Pence said. "And that's because they're paying attention."
Harris will have the advantage of studying Pence's Duel with Kaine for her own preparation.
She reportedly worked with former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Pence to set up the debate. However, the Biden campaign would not confirm this detail Wednesday morning.
Buttigieg said during an appearance on Fox News Channel that he would not "go behind the scenes" when asked if he would play pence in a mock debate.
Like Booker, Buttigieg competed against both Harris and Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary.
In addition, the Biden campaign on Wednesday expressed confidence in the Cleveland Clinic, which is taking health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the debates.
The Biden campaign had been able to erect a Plexiglas security shield between the two candidates after the coronavirus outbreak in the White House this week, while Pence's team did not.
Pence's chief of staff Marc Short made this clear when he told the Washington Post that barriers are not necessary as candidates will be 12.25 feet apart.
"If she wants, she can surround herself with Plexiglas if she feels more comfortable with it," Short told the Washington Post on Tuesday. "It is not needed."
Pence had traveled to Salt Lake City on Monday before his doctor released a statement explaining why the vice president was released after appearances at events where officers have since tested positive – including the Rose Garden ceremony on Jan. September, at which Trump announced his choice of judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court.
He also performed at an event on Sunday for Gold Star families that saw at least one person test positive.
"Vice President Mike Pence is not in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including President Donald J. Trump and senior members of the White House administration under the Centers for Disease Control guidelines."
"Vice President Mike Pence is encouraged to carry out his normal activities and does not require quarantine," said Pence's doctor, Dr. Jesse Schonau.
South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison brought his own Plexiglas setup when he came on Saturday on the heels of President Donald Trump and several Senate Republicans who tested positive for the virus through Republican Senator Lindsey Graham debated
That statement was later followed on Tuesday by a memo signed by Redfield stating that "close contact" is anyone who is within a 6-foot radius for at least 15 minutes from 2 days before the onset of the disease to the time of the patient an infected person is isolated according to CDC guidance. "
Pence will be tested with both antigen tests and more accurate PCR tests, his doctor said.
Harris & # 39; spokeswoman Sabrina Singh used Pence's resistance to advance a political point of view.
"If the Trump administration's war on masks has now turned into a war on security shields, this is all you need to know about why the COVID response is failing," Singh said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
Plexiglass has been used in several other debates so far during the COVID era – most notably when Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison brought his own Plexiglas setup to the Sen Lindsey Graham debate in South Carolina on Saturday, which Trump believed was held positive.
A number of Senate Republicans have also tested positive.
"I'm taking this seriously tonight," Harrison said. "That's why I set up this plexiglass. Because it's not just about me – it's about the people in my life that I have to take care of. My two boys, my wife, my grandmother."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) US Election 2020 (t) Coronavirus (t) Republican (t) ISIS (t) Donald Trump (t) Mike Pence (t) Kamala Harris (t) Democrats